Obituary for Phyllis Mary (Maguire) Martin

Midtown Oyster Bar

via Memorial Funeral Home

Phyllis (Maguire) Martin, age 90, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on August 11, 2019, at Newport Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of the late James P. Martin.

Phyllis was born in Newport, RI to Philip Maguire and Catherine (O’Brien) Maguire. A lifelong Island resident, Phyllis graduated from Rogers High School, and from the University of Rhode Island. While at URI, she met her future husband, James, when he stopped to help “that pretty blonde” change a flat tire. James was 5 years her senior having returned from service in WWII, Army Air Corps Division. Phyllis and James were married in 1951 at St. Joseph’s Church, and they soon began to raise a family.

Phyllis began teaching in the Middletown and Newport Schools then moved to the Portsmouth School System as guidance counselor all while continuing her education and becoming a psychologist. Phyllis was instrumental in developing and providing parenting groups and classes within the Portsmouth School System, helping numerous families throughout many years. Phyllis was part of the implementation of the RIPPS reading program, as well. In addition to her career in education, Phyllis was the Family Focus Counselor at Edgehill Newport. She also had a private practice with Dr. R. Pressman, helping countless patients in need.

Phyllis’ life was significantly changed when she was widowed after 16 years of marriage. She was a young widow with 6 young children. Her professional training and very strong work ethic afforded her the opportunity to provide for her family and to keep her family together. 

Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband James in 1967; her son James Martin in 2018; and her sister Patricia Conrad in 2011.

Phyllis is survived by her children Mary Martin Fournier (Richard), Elizabeth Martin, and Erin Martin, all of Middletown, Kerry Dwyer (Daniel) of Jamestown, RI, and Kathleen Martin of Roslindale, MA. She was the very loved Nan-Na to Roseline Martin, Riley Martin, Anastasia Dwyer, Peter Dwyer, and Owen Dwyer. 

Phyllis loved the ocean. She enjoyed many years as a member of the Newport Yacht Club. She loved nothing better than a day out on the water. It was her love of the beach that was her primary source of relaxation. She was a member of the Third Beach Club, where she enjoyed many summers, with the Third Beach Ladies. Phyllis also was a shareholder of both Hazards and Gooseberry Beaches inheriting her stock from her Mother and Father, who were also native Newporters. She was an outgoing and social Lady who took great pride in her native Newport status and never missed an opportunity to tell her children how lucky they were to be born in Newport. 

Phyllis happily lived in her home until her death. Her care team consisted of her children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. She also had the assistance of her beloved CNA, Maria Reed. Phyllis and Maria were a perfect match. The entire Martin family would like to personally thank Maria for her devotion, outstanding skills, and care for our Mother.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 16, 2019, at 9:00 AM from Memorial Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM at St. Augustin’s Church, Carroll Ave, Newport. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.

Memorial donations may be made to either the Alzheimer’s Association-RI Chapter, 245 Waterman St, Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906; or to Special Olympics, RI Chapter, 370 George Washington Highway, Suite 1, Smithfield, RI 02917.

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